Old Houses Are For Bugs

When you live in a 100+ year old house you get used to seeing bug carcasses everywhere.  It’s best if you don’t think of them as bodies in a mafia-esque sense.  After all, you didn’t kill them – directly.  They just had the misfortune of coming into your house at the wrong time. Read – any time.

Here in NWPA we have spiders of all varieties and most are small and inconsequential, nothing like you’d see in Australia.  That’s why they don’t emigrate to Australia, their second cousins would beat the crap out of them and eat them while waving racy flags that say “Destroy Small Spiders!”.  So it’s up to me and the good folks at Kleenex to do the job.

I’m told that even the small varieties eat other bugs so I shouldn’t kill them.  In my 27 years of living in this house I have yet to see one small spider eat another bug that I hate take umbrage with more.  Still, I don’t freak out at the site of NWPA bugs, even the carrion left behind.

Whenever I joyously throw open the windows in spring (June here in Erie),  I’m always rewarded with a fine breath of fly dust and ladybug wings.  After my first coughing jag, I plug in our filthiest (only) vacuum and suck up the mummies.  Ah, that’s better.  Then the rain comes, and I spend the next 4.2 months going for my nightly pee flailing about, yanking cobwebs off of my face, loudly using my “blue” language.

This concerns me when we have house guests.  We have a beautiful home I’m told, words that all visitors to our home speak only once.  We never  see them again.  Though in their defense, they often invite us to join them for dinner. Out.

As a young man I often stayed at my aunt and uncle’s home in the summer.  Windows thrown wide open, all manner of insects passing through as if it were just a bus terminal for critters with six legs.  I got used to it quickly.  When I was outside and a swarm of mosquitoes attacked me, I ran.  Well enough, I was on their turf.  But come on my turf, and expect retribution.  See that pile of bodies on the sill?  Yeah, that’s right.  Anyone else?


At the Edge of the Soccer Complex, Lynchburg, Virginia

A nice bit of modern poetry.

Translations from the English

At the Edge of the Soccer Complex, Lynchburg, Virginia

Versions of a corner. Red flag sticking out of the earth
where painted lines on the grass meet. Past it

chest-high chain link fences knot into a right angle
before the ground drops twenty feet down

a scrabbly bank on which lines cannot be drawn.
Past the parked cars an uneven stand of poplar and pine

waving like a tired family. Are they greeting us
or waiting for us to drive out of sight?

Then the foothills
where our preferences end.

How is it that mountains always seem to appear
by surprise? or a big word gathering quietly

in our ear, a thing without corners
growing inside a thing without corners,

a soccer ball knocking over a styrofoam cup of coffee
in the way a day may be suddenly knocked on its side

by a force that seems utterly foreign to…

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